Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Head Tutor Junya Eguchi on why life is fuller at Warrane College

For Junya Eguchi, the experience of living at Warrane College is something he describes as life-changing. A resident at the college for five years now, this year he took on the role of Head Tutor – which involves coordinating the tutors, among other administrative things. He’s doing his masters at UNSW, which uses a special imaging technique to study how muscles change with training.

But that’s probably the stuff you already know about Junya. What you might not know is that he loves rugby (both playing and watching), or that he would love to be able to play an instrument: “Something like the piano or guitar. I’ve always admired people who can play,” he says.

You also might not know that the 23-year old is of Japanese background, and that he’s seen a fair bit of the world through his father’s forestry job. He lived in South Africa until the age of three, before moving to Japan for five years and then back to South Africa. Next stop was Australia, where he went to school in Canberra as his parents settled in Eden (on the south coast of NSW). After high school, he spent a gap year in Japan, and then was back to Sydney to start university studies in Sydney. Currently, his parents and older brother are back in Japan, so it’s lucky that Junya is a big fan of Warrane life.

“At Warrane there are always people around, there’s always something on,” says Junya. “It can be very busy but I think it’s busy in a very good way… you’re never thinking about what you want to do. I think that’s my favourite thing about Warrane because your time is so much richer and your life is so much more productive – full of life, in a way!”

He continued, “I think the unique thing at Warrane is the care that it gives to individuals. I feel Warrane takes care of each individual, instead of looking at people in groups.”

This is the day-to-day, but Junya says that life at Warrane has also had some big impacts on his life – in terms of the friends that he’s made, as well as the faith that he’s gained: “When I first went there, I wasn’t religious. But after talking to people, and talking to those who have faith, I was actually baptised last year. So in that sense [life at Warrane] was life-changing.”

His becoming Catholic was a big step, so he was glad that his family were supportive. “I wasn’t sure how they’d kind of react,” he said, “but…because they’ve sort of been outside of Japan, which is very mono-cultured… because they’ve lived in South Africa and Australia, and they’ve seen different kinds of people and culture, they were very open to it, and they were happy for me.”

It’s no wonder then, that Junya considers his parents to be his inspiration. “I’ve always looked up to my parents – I think as I’ve gotten older as well, I’ve appreciated what my parents have done for me. In recent times I’ve realised how generous my parents are towards everyone they interact with or meet. It was something that I never realised or really took notice of when I was younger.”

Perhaps generosity is something Junya gets from his parents, because when asked what experience he’s found most rewarding to date, he picked being a tutor at Warrane.

“Tutors look after the pastoral care and the wellbeing of the students on their floor. So if they had any questions or queries they’d go to the tutors and ask for help. It’s almost like a big brother to the younger residents,” he said. “Being relied on or of value to someone, important to someone’s life… I’ve always sort of wanted to help people –I think it’s something that I always try to strive for and do. And I was able to when I became a tutor.”

As for the future, Junya hopes to finish up his masters and get working in the medical field – perhaps research or teaching. “Somewhere that involves a lot of interaction with people,” he says.

As for whether he’ll stay in Australia – it’s still up in the air, but the chances are looking good.